High School Sports

State wrestling meet: Clovis’ duo and Buchanan positioned for runs at history

Clovis senior Justin Mejia won CIF State Wrestling Championship titles at 106 pounds as a freshman, 113 as a sophomore and 120 as a junior. He goes for his fourth title this weekend at 126 pounds. Mejia’s quest to join Bakersfield’s Darrell Vasquez (1999-2002) as the only four-time champions in the history of a single-division tournament launched in 1973 is the marquee attraction of what’s expected to be a banner weekend for the Central Section. Other highlights include top-ranked Buchanan’s bid to repeat as team champion; attempts for second straight individual titles by Buchanan’s Matthew Olguin and Ethan Leake, Bakersfield’s Navonte Demison and Clovis’ Seth Nevills; and 16 top-two seeded wrestlers.
Clovis senior Justin Mejia won CIF State Wrestling Championship titles at 106 pounds as a freshman, 113 as a sophomore and 120 as a junior. He goes for his fourth title this weekend at 126 pounds. Mejia’s quest to join Bakersfield’s Darrell Vasquez (1999-2002) as the only four-time champions in the history of a single-division tournament launched in 1973 is the marquee attraction of what’s expected to be a banner weekend for the Central Section. Other highlights include top-ranked Buchanan’s bid to repeat as team champion; attempts for second straight individual titles by Buchanan’s Matthew Olguin and Ethan Leake, Bakersfield’s Navonte Demison and Clovis’ Seth Nevills; and 16 top-two seeded wrestlers. jwalker@fresnobee.com

Clovis High’s Justin Mejia and Seth Nevills are in position to make individual history, while Buchanan is primed for a second straight run to the team title after the first day of the CIF State Wrestling Championships on Friday at Rabobank Arena.

Mejia moved another step closer to his goal of equaling Bakersfield’s Darrell Vasquez (1999-2002) as the state meet’s only four-time champions by reaching Saturday’s semifinal round, which is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m.

State top-ranked and national No. 3 Mejia, who is 36-0 on the season and 166-1 in his career, became one of the Central Section’s 23 semifinalists with a 5-2 victory over Buchanan’s Tyler Deen in the quarterfinals. Mejia – who won state titles at 106 as a freshman, 113 as a sophomore and 120 as a junior – advances to face Rancho Bernardo’s Jaden Abas in a rematch of last year’s 120 final.

Mejia beat Abas, then of Frontier, by pin in 3:35 in last year’s final. Abas, the son of former Fresno State star Gerry Abas, is ranked 18th nationally.

State No. 1 and national No. 3 Nevills, a junior, easily rolled into the semifinals at 285 pounds in his quest to become only the fifth wrestler in state history to win titles after each of his first three seasons, and only the 23rd three-time champion overall.

Nevills pinned all three of his opponents, including Del Oro’s Pablo Miller in 1:27 during the quarterfinals to improve to 35-0 on the season (all by pin) and 125-0 in his career. Nevills will face Corning’s Gavin Nye in the semifinals.

Buchanan, meanwhile, has five semifinalists in Matthew Olguin (113), Ethan Leake (120), Joel Romero (160), Anthony Montalvo (182) and Cade Belshay (220) andd 12 of its tournament-best 14 qualifiers alive overall while crusing to a team-leading 138.5 points.

Olguin and Leake are looking for second straight titles after winning at 106 and 113 pounds, respectively, last season. Romero was third at 138, Montalvo second at 182 and Belshay fifth at 170 last season, when the Bears won the school’s section state title overall with the second-best score in state meet history with 274.5 points. Only five other teams in the history of the state meet, which began in 1973, have won three titles. Clovis has the most with 13.

Clovis, behind Mejia, Nevills and fellow semifinalist Brandon Martino (160), sits second 106 points. The Cougars have nine of the 12 qualifiers they brought to Bakersfield alive.

Poway is third with 82 points, followed by Selma (77), Gilroy (69), Clovis North (63.5), Dinuba (62), Frontier (60.5), De La Salle (59) andd Bakersfield (52) as Central Section schools make up seven of the top 10.

Other Central Section semifinalists include: Frontier’s Cole Reyes (106), Clovis North’s Devin Murphy (113), Selma’s Robert Garcia IV (126), Dinuba’s Isaiah Perez (126), Clovis North’s Chris Deloza (132), Frontier’ss Elijah Ozuna (132), Lemoore’s Gary Joint (132), Mission Oak’s Jaden Enriquez (138), Bakersfield’s JJ Figueroa (138), Bakersfield’s Navonte Demison (145), Dinuba’s Jacob Wright (145), Selma’s Christian Rodriguez (170), Bakersfield’s Sam Loera (182), Clovis West’s Ryan Reyes (195) and Lemoore’s Noah Wright (285).

Friday’s blog

8:50 p.m.: Buchanan, which has five semifinalists and 12 of its state-best 14 wrestlers alive overall, opened the lead after the first day of the CIF State Wrestling Championships with 138.5 points. Clovis is second with 106.5, followed by Poway (82), Selma (77), Gilroy (69), Clovis North (63.5), Dinuba (62), Frontier (60.5), De La Salle (59) and Bakersfield (52) as Central Section schools hold seven of the top 10 spots. Wrestling is set to resume at 9 a.m. Saturday with consolation round 5, followed by the championship semifinals at 9:30 a.m., medal matches at 11:30 a.m. and the finals at 7 p.m.

8:22 p.m.: The pin perfect season of Clovis junior Seth Nevills continues. Nevills, who is out to become the 23rd three-time state champion and just the fifth wrestler in state history to win titles after his first three seasons, pinned Del Oro’s Pablo Miller in 1:27 during the quarterfinals. The state top-ranked and national No. 2 Nevills, who won state titles at 220 as a freshman and 285 as a sophomore, advances to the semifinals to face Corning’s No. 4 Gavin Nye, who beat Buchanan’s No. 22 Isaih Ortiz by pin in 1:40. Nevills improved to 35-0 on the season, all by pin, and 125-0 in his career. On the other side of the bracket, Lemoore’s Noah Wright reached the semis with a pin in 57 seconds of Vacaville’s state No. 2 Jake Levengood, who was fifth in state at 220 last season. Wright, who’s ranked 10th in the state, advances to face Deelhi’s Jesus Flores, who beat Clovis North’s No. 6 Nathaniel Holloway 7-4 in the quarters.

8:08 p.m.: Buchanan’s state No. 1 Cade Belshay scored bonus points in his third straight match, scoring a 17-1 technical fall over Clovis North’s John Halajian in the 220-pound quarterfinals. Belshay will face Elsinore’s Dominik Urena in the semifinals. Belshay, a three-time state qualifier, finished fifth at 170 last season. On the other end of the bracket, Kingsburg’s Ty Muxlow got pinned in 52 seconds by No. 2 Darryl Aiello of De La Salle.

8:03 p.m.: Clovis West’s state No. 3 Ryan Reyes kept alive his hopes of adding to the family gold medal collection with an 8-2 victory over San Clemente’s Kyle Marshall in the 195-pound quarterfinals. Reyes is the younger brother of two-time state champion Nikko Reyes, who won the 171 title in 2011 and at 182 in 2012 before moving on to college at Illinois and later Northern Colorado. Awaiting Ryan Reyes in the semis is Gilroy’s Tony Andrade, who beat Buchanan’s Trevor Ervin 3-1 in the quarters.

7:48 p.m.: Buchanan’s state top-ranked Anthony Montalvo continued to march through the 182-pound bracket, scoring bonus points in his fourth straight match by pinning Lemoore’s Angel Solis in 44 seconds during the quarterfinals. Montalvo, who lost in last year’s state 182-pound final to Clovis’ Josh Hokit, advances to face state No. 5 Josh Loomer of Cajon. Bakersfield’s No. 3 Sam Loera also make the semis, beating Capistrano Valley’s Gerardo Hernandez 7-5 in the quarterfinals. Loera will face state No. 2 Colbey Harlan of Oakdale in the semis.

7:40 p.m.: Selma’s No. 7 Christian Rodriguez and Clovis’ No. 2 Victory Vargas wagged another extremly close battle in the 170-pound quarterfinals after meeting last week in the Masters finals. Rodriguez avenged a 3-2 defeat to Vargas last week with a 9-8 victory here today. Rodriguez moves on to the semifinals, the only section wrestler to get there in this weight, where he will face Oakdale’s Abel Garcia.

7:30 p.m.: The state’s top two 160-pounders, Buchanan’s Joel Romero and Clovis’ Brandon Martino, each beat Central Section opponents to reach the semifinals. No. 1 Romero pinned Selma’s Oscar Diaz in 4:27 during the quarterfinals while No. 2 Martino pinned Bakersfield’s Rocky Gonzalez in 3:00 in another quarter. Romero will face Mater Dei’s Aaron Olmos in the semis and Martino squares off against Poway’s Hampton Boyd, who beat Monache’s Mark Cardwell 6-2 in the quarters. Romero and Martino have split four matches this season, with Romero winning at the Mission San Jose Tournament and last week at Masters, and Martino winning during a Tri-River Athletic Conference dual and at Yosemite Divisionals. Romero was third at state at 138 last season while Martino placed fifth at 152. Both are third-time state qualifiers.

7:17p.m.: Central Section wrestlers will not have a shot at the 152-pound state title after the last man alive in the championship bracket, Frontier’s Jonathan Garcia, lost by 10-2 major decision to Santiago’s Joshua Kim Jr. Garcia drops into the consolation bracket, where he will still be alive for a medal as high as third. It’s the only weight class so far without a semifinalist from the Central Section.

7:15 p.m.: Bakersfield’s top-ranked Navonte Demison and Dinuba’s No. 2 Jacob Wright remain on a collision course for a state finals rematch after each won in the quarterfinals at 145 pounds. Demison, who pinned Wright in 1:00 during last season’s state final at 138, pinned ML King’s Brandon Esparza in 2:54 to guarantee his fourth state medal. Demison was second at 120 in 2015 and third at 106 in 2014. Wright moved on with a pin in 5:49 of Palm Desert’s Troy Mantanona. Wright will face Granite Bay’s Jack Ramalia in the semifinals. Dinuba has never had a state wrestling champion, but has two shots at one this year with Wright and 126-pounder Isaiah Perez in the semifinals.

7:05 p.m.: Mission Oak’s top-ranked Jaden Enriquez and Bakersfield’s JJ Figueroa punched their tickets into the semifinals, but the big news at 138 pounds was an injury to Buchanan’s state No. 2 Brett Villarreal, a third-time state qualifier who placed fourth at 126 last season. I didn’t catch what happened to him, but Villarreal was take off the mat on a stretcher after getting knocked out and injury defaulting to Rancho Bueno Vista’s Bernie Truax, who will now meet Figueroa in the semis. This could be a big blow to Buchanan as Villarreal can’t go tomorrow. Enriquez, who missed last year’s state meet with an injury, guaranteed himself a third state medal with a 6-2 victory over Selma’s Tony Mendoza. Enriquez, who placed second at 132 in 2015 and fourth at 132 in 2014, will face Vacaville’s Lawrence Saenz in the semifinals. Figuerroa beat Central Catholic’s Steven Abbate 3-2 in his quarterfinal.

6:55 p.m.: Clovis North’s top-ranked Chris Deloza reached the semifinals with a 7-1 victory over Foothill’s Dalton Lakmann. Deloza advances to an all-section semi, where he will face Frontier’s Elijah Ozuna, a 3-0 winner over Poway’s Scotty Kitono. Deloza, a three-time state qualifier, is seeking his second state medal and first title after placing fifth at 120 in 2015. On the other end of the bracket, Lemoore’s No. 2 Gary Joint advanced with a 8-7 victory over Benicia’s Ryley Boutain. Joint moves on to face Gilroy’s Alex Felix in the semis.

6:45 p.m.: At 126 pounds, we’ve got rematches of last season’s state final and third-place matches at 120 pounds on tap in the semifinals after wins from Clovis’ Justin Mejia, Rancho Bernardo’s Jaden Abas, Selma’s Robert Garcia IV and Dinuba’s Isaiah Perez, who are all nationally ranked. National No. 3 Mejia, who is seeking to become the second four-time champion in state history, reached the semis with a 5-2 decision over Buchanan’s Tyler Deen, a New Mexico state champion last season before moving to Clovis. Mejia moves on to face national No. 18 Abas in a rematch of last year’s 120 final, when Mejia pinned the son of former Fresno State star Gerry Abas in 3:35 for his third state title. Mejia won titles at 106 as a freshman and 113 as a sophomore. On the other side of the bracket, Central Sequoia League rivals Garcia and Perez each advanced to set up a rematch of last year’s 120 third-place match, won by Garcia 3-1. National No. 19 Garcia reached the semis with a 4-3 win over Calvary Chapel’s Elijah Palacio, while National No. 9 Perez beat Bullard’s Dawson Sihavong 4-3. Perez is 2-1 vs. Garcia this season, winning in a CSL dual and during the CSL tourney, before Garcia won at the Sierra/Sequoia Divisionals.

6:30 p.m.: Buchanan’s Ethan Leake reached the 120-pound semifinals with a 7-0 victory over West’s Greg Viloria. Leake, the reigning state 113 champ, will face Bishop Amat’s Sidney Flores in the semis, which are scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Saturday.

6:20 p.m.: We’re moving on to the quarterfinals now, where Frontier’s Cole Reyes has guaranteed himself a state medal by pinning Esperanza’s Aaron Nagao in 5:28. Reyes will face Northview’s Eddie Flores in the semis. Selma’s Tristan Lujan and Clovis’ Giano Petrucelli each lost in the quarters, Lujan losing 3-1 against Northview’s Eddie Flores and Petrucelli dropping a 10-3 decision to Del Oro’s Antonio Lorenzo.

And at 113, Buchanan sophomore Matthew Olguin, the reigning state 106 champ, reached the semifinals with a pin of Rancho Buena Vista’s Oscar Nellis in 2:00. Olguin will face Gilroy’ss Nicolas Aguilar in the semis. Clovis North’s Devin Murphy, a freshman, punched his ticket to the semis with a 4-3 decision over Everett Alvarez’ Riley Siason. up next for Murphy is St. John Bosco’s Jesse Vasquez.

6:15 p.m.: Clovis junior 285-pounder Seth Nevills improved to 34-0 on the season with his 34th pin, dropping Montgomery’s Chase Riegg in 37 seconds to advance to the quarterfinals. Nevills, 124-0 in his three-year career that includes state titles at 220 pounds as a freshman and 285 as a sophomore, will face Del Oro’s Pablo Miller in the quarterfinals. Buchanan’s Isaih Ortiz, Clovis North’s Nathaniel Holloway and Lemoore’s Noah Wright also advanced to the quarterfinals. Ortiz, the fifth-place finisher at Masters, pinned Cardinal Newman’s Gunnar Hayman in 5:34, Holloway topped South San Francisco’s Luke Cruz 4-2 and Wright pinned Hanford’s Armanddo Barcenos in 4:58.

Team scores: Buchanan 103, Clovis 76, Poway 62, Selma 54, Gilroy 52, Clovis North 50.5

6:05: Another all-Central Section quarterfinal is set at 220, where Buchanan’s Cady Belshay and Clovis North’s John Halajian will square off. Belshay, who was fifth in the state at 170 last season, pinned Ellk Grove’s Jake Bellecci in 5:31, while Halajian defeated Coalinga’s Kobe Rosas 8-4. Kingsburg’s Ty Muxlow also reached the quarters with a 5-3 victory over St. John Bosco’s David Aranda. Dinuba’s Tony Serna dropped into the consolation bracket.

6 p.m.: Clovis West’s Ryan Reyes and Buchanan’s Trevor Ervin have reached the quarterfinals at 195 pounds. Reyes, younger brother of two-time state champion Nikko Reyes, pined Lakewood’s Cody Williams in 1:07, his third fall of the tournament. Ervin defeated Clovis’ Ruger Wyneken 7-3. Reyes and Ervin would quare off in the semifinals if each advances that far. Reyes is ranked third in the state and Ervin seventh. Mark Halajian of Clovis North dropped into the consolation bracket.

5:15 p.m.: Buchanan’s top-ranked Anthony Montalvo reached the quarterfinals at 182 with a 10-1 major decision over Hilmar’s Cody Rentfro. Montavlo, who was the state 182-pound runner-up last season, will face Lemoore’s Angel Solis in the quarterfinals. Solis, a Fresno State recruit, pinned Clovis’ Jacob Good in 1:10 during the Round of 16. Bakersfield’s Sam Loera also reached the quarterfinals with a 5-2 victory over Lodi’s Justin Medeiros. Frontier’s Willem Deboer dropped into the consolation bracket.

Team scores:

5:05 p.m.: A Masters finals rematch is on tap in the quarterfinals of the state meet after Clovis’ Victory Vargas and Selma’s Christian Rodriguez won their Round of 16 matches. Vargas, who beat Rodriguez 3-2 last week, advanced with a 14-0 major decision over Folsom’s Kaleb Reyes-Small. Rodriguez beat Madera South’s Dylan Miracle 2-1 in double overtime. Hanford’s Isaiah Corona and Liberty-Bakersfield’s Jeremy Mass both fell into the consolation bracket.

4:50 p.m.: Top-ranked Joel Romero of Buchanan headlines five quarterfinal qualifiers from the Central Section at 160. Romero, a three-time state qualifer who placed third at 138 last season, pinned Steele Canyon’s David Lipscomb in 3:46 to set up an all-section quarter against Selma’s Oscar Diaz, who beat Gilroy’s Joseph Barnes 3-0 in the Round of 16. Clovis’ Brandon Martino and Bakersfield’s Rocky Gonzalez will also face off in the quarterfinals after Martino pinned Sultana’s Evan Solis in 3:04 and Gonzalez defeated Del Oro’s Willl Constonzo 4-1. Monache’s Mark Cardwell also reached the quarters with a 7-2 decision over Hesperia’s Michael Viramontes. Porterville’s Adrian Zendejas dropped into the consolation bracket.

Team scores: Buchanan 74, Clovis 67, Poway 58, Selma 51, Clovis North 40.5.

4:40 p.m.: Selma’s Jace Luchau, who went from 0-3 at Masters as a wrestling-above-his-weight freshman to Masters champion this year as a sophomore, saw his hopes of winning a 152-pound state title dashed with a 5-2 loss to Santa Monica’s Nasir Grissom in the Round of 16. Frontier’s Jonathan Garcia, who Luchau beat in sudden victory in the Masters final last week, was the only section wrestler to reach the quarters following a pin of Benicia’s Fernando Lanza in 4:23. Madera’s Joshua McMillon, Dinuba’s Daniel Long, Madera South’s Augustine Garcia and Buchanan’s Chris Gaxiola also dropped into the consolation bracket.

4:20 p.m.: The potential rematch of Bakersfield’s Navonte Demison and Dinuba’s Jacob Wright is still alive after both reached the quarterfinals at 145. Demison pinned Mira Costa’s Jared Williams in 2:15, while Wright scored a 13-2 major decision over Newport Harbor’s Xavier Moreno. Demison pinned Wright in 1:00 during last season’s state final at 138. Section wrestlers Tristan Zamilpa of Buchanan, Jonathan Ramos of Selma, Trent Tracy of Frontier, Jose Cardoso of Hanford and Beau Bradley of Monache all fell into the consolation bracket.

Team scores: Buchanan 70, Clovis 60, Poway 53, Selma 49, Clovis North 40.5

4:10 p.m.: There will be an all-Central Section quarterfinal at 138 between Mission Oak’s state top-ranked Jaden Enriquez and Selma’s Tony Mendoza. Enriquez beat Oak Ridge’s Jackson Redhair 5-2 while Mendoza topped Trabuco Hills’ Justin Sarabia 8-1. Buchanan’s Brett Villarreal and Bakersfield’s JJ Figueroa are also on to the quarters after Villarreal pinned Cypress’ Devin Daugherty in 3:32 and Figueroa downed Carlsbad’s Shehadeh Mitwalli 7-2. Lemoore’s Joe Romero and Madera’s Moses Contreras dropped into the consolation bracket.

Up to the minute team scores: Buchanan 70, Clovis 60, Poway and Selma 49, Clovis North 38

3:52 p.m.: State top-ranked Chris Deloza of Clovis North defeated JT Stinson of Del Oro by 9-1 major decision to reach the quarterfinals at 132. Lemoore’s No. 2 Gary Joint also reached the quarters with a 5-0 win over Paramount’s Nick Camacho. And Frontier’s Elijah Ozuna also advanced, pinning De La Salle’s Dwayne Guerrero in 5:48. Selma’s Luis Ramos dropped into the consolation bracket.

3:35 p.m.: Buchanan’s Ethan Leake will be the section’s only quarterfinalist at 120 pounds after pinning St. John Bosco’s Christian Nunez in 3:41. Leake was the 113 state champ last year. Clovis’ Wyatt Cornelison and Frontier’s Ryan Morphis fell into the consolation bracket.

And at 126, three-time state champion Justin Mejia reached the quarterfinals with an 11-5 decision over Upper Lake’s Jose Ferandez. In the quarters, Mejia, who is trying to join Bakersfield’s Darrell Vasquez (1999-2002) as the only four-time champs in state history, meets Buchanan’s Tyler Deen in the quarters after Deen topped Bellarmine’s Isaiah Palomino 3-2. Selma’s Robert Garcia IV advanced with a 9-7 win over Oxnard’s Jeremy Trinh, while an all-section quarter was set up after Bullard’s Dawson Sihavong beat Elk Grove’s Lokahi Tonge 11-6 to up a match against Dinuba’s Isaiah Perez, who beat Barstow’s Jose Rubio 7-1.

3:30 p.m.: The Round of 16 has begun, with three sections wrestlers reaching the 106-pound quarterfinals: Selma’s Tristan Lujan, Frontier’s Cole Reyes and Clovis’ Giano Petrucelli. ... Lujan beat Freedom’s Dakota Unpingco by 10-1 major decision; Reyes also scored a major, 9-0, over Rowland’s Richard Rojo, and Petrucelli topped Golden Valley-Merced’s Caydin Wickard 3-0.

At 113: Buchanan’s Matthew Olguin, who won a state title at 106 last season, pinned Wasco’s Jose Landin in 2:50 to reach the quarterfinals. Clovis North’s Devin Murphy also advanced by pinning Keanu Perez of Sonora in 5:51.

3:15: p.m.: At 145, A rematch of last season’s state final at 138 pounds is alive after both reigning state champ Navonte Demison of Bakersfield and runner-up Jacob Wright of Dinuba reached the Round of 16. Also advancing are Buchanan’s Tristan Zamilpa, Selma’s Jonathan Ramos, Frontier’s Trent Tracy, Hanford’s Jose Cardoso, and Monache’s Beau Bradley.

152: Masters champion Jace Luchau of Selma heads up six section competitors to reach the Round of 16. Luchau is joined by Madera’s Joshua McMillon, Dinuba’s Daniel Long, Madera South’s Augustine Garcia, Buchanan’s Chris Gaxiola and Frontier’s Jonathan Garcia.

At 160: State top-ranked Joel Romero of Buchanan and No. 2 Brandon Martino of Clovis made the round of 16 and are on a collision course for a potential match in the finals. Others in the Round of 16 from the section are Selma’s Osccar Diaz, Porterville’s Adrian Zendejas, Monache’s Mark Cardwell and Bakersfield’s Ricky Gonzalez.

At 170: Clovis’ No. 2-ranked Victory Vargas is one of five section wrestlers in the Round of 16 here, alos including Liberty-Bakersfield’s Jeremy Mass, Hanford’s Isaiah Corona, Selma’s Christian Rodriguez and Madera South’s Dylan Miracle.

182: State top-ranked Anthony Montalvo, the state runner-up at this weight class last season, has advanced to the Round of 16, joined by Lemoore’s Angel Solis, Clovis; Jacob Good, Bakersfield’s Sam Loera and Frontier’s Willem Deboer.

At 195: Clovis West sophomore Ryan Reyes, who is trying to join his older brother Nikko Reyes as a state champion, made the Round of 16 with pair of wins. Foothill’s Adrian Godinez, Buchanan’s Trevor Ervin, Clovis’ Ruger Wyneken and Clovis North’s Mark Halajian are also in the Round of 16.

At 220: Buchanan’s Cade Belshay, who placed fifth at 170 last season, is among the section’s six competitors in the Round of 16, joined by Coalinga’s Kobe Rosas, Clovis North’s John Halajian, Dinuba’s Tony Serna, Kingsburg’s Ty Muxlow and Hanford’s Hunter Parks.

At 285: Seth Nevills’ quest to become just the fifth wrestler in state history to win titles in each of his first three seasons got off to a fast start when he pinned Central Valley’s Davis Zezma in 1:06 to reach the Round of 16. Clovis’ star junior won state titles at 220 as a freshman and 285 as a sophomore. Also reaching the Round of 16 were Buchanan’s Isaih Ortiz, Clovis North’s Nathaniel Holloway, Lemoore’s Noah Wright and Hanford’s Armando Barcenas.

2:45: p.m.: At 126, Clovis’ Justin Mejia, who is chasing a record-tying fourth state championship, reached the Round of 16 with a 4-2 victory over Yucaipa’s Anthony Loera Jr. Mejia, who won state titles at 106 as a freshman, 113 as a sophomore and 120 as a junior, will meet Upper Lake’s Jose Feernandez with a spot in the quarterfinals on the line. Other section wrestlers to round the Round of 16 are Buchanan’s Tyler Deen, Clovis North’s Rocky Beckett, Selma’s Robert Garcia IV, Bullard’s Dawson Sihavong and Dinuba’s Isaiah Perez.

At 132: Clovis North’s Chris Deloza, who upset then state top-ranked Gary Joint of Lemoore at the Yosemite Division and Masters finals to take over the No. 1 spot, has reached the Round of 16. Joing Deloza are Frontier’s Elijah Ozuna, Selma’s Luis Ramos and Joint. Deloza finished fifth in the state at 120 pounds in 2015.

At 138: State top-ranked Jaden Enriquez of Mission Oak, who missed the postseason last year with an injury, is one of seven section wrestlers in the Round of 16 at this weight class. Enriquez, who re-emerged as the state No. 1 after beating Buchanan’s Brett Villarreal in the Masters final last week, is joined by Villarreal, Selma’s Tony Mendoza, Lemoore’s Joe Romero, Madera’s Moses Contreras, Bakersfield’s JJ Figueroa and Dinuba’s Noah Cortez.

2:35 p.m.: At 113 pounds, reigning 106-pound state champ Matthew Olguin of Buchanan is one of six section wrestlers in the Round of 16, joined by Wasco’s Jose Landin, Central’s Mateo Sanchez, Clovis North’s Devin Murphy, Clovis’ Brandon Paulson and Madera’s Mario Moreno.

At 120 pounds, Buchanan’s Ethan Leake, who won a state title at 113 last season, has reached the Round of 16, along with Frontier’s Ryan Morphis and Clovis’ Wyatt Cornelison.

2:20 p.m.: At 106 pounds, the Central Section’s top 5 qualifiers – Frontier’s Cole Reyes, Clovis’ Giano Petrucelli, Selma’s Tristan Lujan, Buchanan’s Josh Poore and Dinuba’s Lorenzo Arreola – have all reached the Round of 16.

2:05 p.m.: A year after going 0-3 at Masters and failing to qualify for state, Selma sophomore 152-pounder Jace Luchau is off to a 2-0 start here at Rabobank Area, opening with a pin in 31 seconds over Oakdale’s Gabe Martinez and then pinning Foothill-Santa Ana’s RJ De La Rosa in 1:39 during the round of 32.

Luchau (41-8) will face Santa Monica’s Nasir Grissom in the round of 16.

Last year, Luchau was a part-time starter at 138 pounds before going up to fill an opening in the Bears’ lineup at 160 during the postseason.

Often wearing three singlets and three pair of socks in addition to drinking as much water as he could to get up to the 147.1-pound threshold needed to compete at 160, Luchau placed third at the Central Sequoia League tournament and second at Sierra/Sequoia Divisionals before running out of steam at Masters.

“I felt so bad. I was heartbroken,” Luchau said. “I remember going (to watch the state meet) and seeing guys I had close matches with. I felt like I could be here.”

So in the offseason, Luchau trained in Nevada with Greco-Roman coach Bill Mitchell and in Colorado with Sons of Thunder and Jeff Estrada in order to achieve his goal this season.

Luchau responded this year by winning league and Sierra/Sequoia Divisional titles before going 4-0 at Masters, capped by an 8-6 sudden victory over Frontier’s then state No. 6-ranked Jonathan Garcia, a two-time state qualifier.

“I was really happy when I got my hand raised,” Luchau said of his Masters title. “My hard work paid off.”

11:20 a.m.: Clovis’ Justin Mejia starts his quest for a fourth state gold medal wtih a 4-2 victory at 126 pounds over Yucaipa junior Anthony Loera, hanging on as Loera scored his points in the final 13 seconds.

Among the first winners: Buchanan gets off to a good start in its quest for a second straight team championship. Chris Gaxiola wins with a pin in 3 minutes 52 seconds over Xavier Smith of Steele Canyon-Spring Valley at 152. … Matthew Olguin, top-seeded at 113, beats Downey’s Dilan Ajtum 10-1. … Ethan Leake, top-seeded at 120, pins Ramona’s Jeff Ramsthaler in 3:19. … Josh Poore decisions Lassen’s Richie Camarena 4-2 at 106. … Tyler Deen decisions Robert Eredia of Mayfair-Lakewood 7-2. … Brett Villarreal decisions Benicia’s Alejandro Lanza 3-1 at 138. … Tristan Zamilpa beats Jeremy Ridge of Acalanes-Lafayette 13-1. … Anthony Montalvo, top-seeded at 182, pins Kevin Ayala of Moreno Valley in 21 seconds. …

Top seeds: The Central Section has 10 of the 14 top seeds. There’s Mejia and teammate Seth Nevills (285) from Clovis; Olguin (113), Leake (120), Joel Romero (160), Montalvo (182) and Cade Belshay (220) from Buchanan; and Clovis North’s Chris Deloza at 132, Mission Oak’s Jaden Enriquez at 138 and Bakersfield’s Navonte Demison at 145. In early action, Deloza started with a pin in 3:32 over Jimmy Alvarez of Southwest-San Diego and Enriquez pinned Mike Adams of Sutter in 57 seconds.

Live coverage: Check back as The Bee’s Nick Giannandrea files updates beginning Friday afternoon from the meet. And pick up a copy of Monday’s Bee for our final recap of all the action, including stories by Nick, commentary by Marek Warszawski and photos by Craig Kohlruss.

Nick Giannandrea: 559-441-6103, @NickG_FB

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